UK Hunger and Starvation Worse Than Refugee Camps: Canterbury Archbishop

Fact checked

Some sad news coming out of the UK today.  The Archbishop of Canterbury made remarks recently that after visiting a refugee camp in The Democratic Republic of Congo, comparing the starvation situation in The United Kingdom to the refugee camps in Africa – some of the conditions worse even in the UK!

An article in The Independent entitled “Archbishop: UK hunger more shocking than African refugee camp” [1], writer Evan Bartlett writes:

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that he was more shocked to see families going hungry in Britain than those in African refugee camps, because it was so unexpected.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Justin Welby calls on the government to do more to help families going hungry and says they must take “quick action” to implement the recommendations made in a report that will put before parliament this week.


After returning from a refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he recalled an experience of meeting a family in a food bank in Britain:

“They were ashamed to be there. The dad talked miserably. He said they had each been skipping a day’s meals once a week in order to have more for the child, but then they needed new tyres for the car so they could get to work at night, and just could not make ends meet.

So they had to come to a food bank. They were treated with respect, love even, by the volunteers from local churches. But they were hungry, and ashamed to be hungry.

I found their plight more shocking. It was less serious, but it was here.”

The parliamentary report, he says, paints a “stark picture” of hunger stalking large parts of our country.

Welby also takes aim at the “shocking” levels of waste in Britain and said it must be made easier for companies to donate their food to charities but also said big food companies had a “moral obligation” to communities.

“At least some of the food being sent to the incinerator should be used as a force for good to help [the poor] out of the rut in which they find themselves.”